Court Transcript of BTK's Confession

The Murder of the Otero Family

BTK Killer Dennis Rader
BTK killer Dennis Rader.

Pool/Getty Images

On February 26, 2005, the Wichita Police announced that investigators had made an arrest in the BTK serial killer case after taking into custody an employee of nearby Park City, Kansas in a routine traffic stop – bringing to an end an era of terror for the Wichita community which lasted more than 30 years.

Dennis Rader, a city employee, a cub scout leader, and an active member of his church, confessed that he was the BTK serial killer. Here is the transcript of his confession.

The Defendant: On January 15th, 1974, I maliciously, intentionally and premeditation killed Joseph Otero. Count Two –

The Court: All right. Mr. Rader, I need to find out more information. On that particular day, the 15th day of January, 1974, can you tell me where you went to kill Mr. Joseph Otero?

The Defendant: Mmm, I think it’s 1834 Edgemoor.

The Court: All right. Can you tell me approximately what time of day you went there?

The Defendant: Somewhere between 7:00 and 7:30.

The Court: This particular location, did you know these people?

The Defendant: No. That’s –
(Off-the-record discussion between the defendant and Ms. McKinnon.) No, that was part of my – I guess my what you call fantasy. These people were selected.

The Court: All right. So you –

(Off-the-record discussion between the defendant and Ms. McKinnon.)

The Court: – you were engaged in some kind of fantasy during this period of time?

The Defendant: Yes, sir.

The Court: All right. Now, where you use the term “fantasy,” is this something you were doing for your personal pleasure?

The Defendant: Sexual fantasy, sir.

The Court: I see. So you went to this residence, and what occurred then?

The Defendant: Well, I had – did some thinking on what I was going to do to either Mrs. Otero or Josephine, and basically broke into the house –or didn’t break into the house, but when they came out of the house I came in and confronted the family, and then we went from there.

The Court: All right. Had you planned this beforehand?

The Defendant: To some degree, yes. After I got in the house it – lost control of it, but it – it was – you know, in back of my mind I had some ideas what I was going to do.

The Court: Did you –

The Defendant: But I just – I basically panicked that first day, so –

The Court: Beforehand did you know who was there in the house?

The Defendant: I thought Mrs. Otero and the two kids – the two younger kids were in the house. I didn’t realize Mr. Otero was gonna be there.

The Court: All right. How did you get into the house, Mr. Rader?

The Defendant: I came through the back door, cut the phone lines, waited at the back door, had reservations about even going or just walking away, but pretty soon the door opened, and I was in.

The Court: All right. So the door opened. Was it opened for you, or did someone –

The Defendant: I think one of the kids – I think the Ju – Junior – or not Junior – yes, the – the young girl – Joseph opened the door. He probably let the dog out ‘cause the dog was in the house at the time.

The Court: All right. When you went into the house what happened then?

The Defendant: Well, I confronted the family, pulled the pistol, confronted Mr. Otero and asked him to – you know, that I was there to – basically I was wanted, wanted to get the car. I was hungry, food, I was wanted, and asked him to lie down in the living room. And at that time I realized that wouldn’t be a really good idea, so I finally – The dog was the real problem, so I – I asked Mr. Otero if he could get the dog out. So he had one of the kids put it out, and then I took them back to the bedroom.

The Court: You took who back to the bedroom?

The Defendant: The family, the bedroom – the four members.

The Court: All right. What happened then?

The Defendant: At that time I tied ‘em up.

The Court: While still holding them at gunpoint?

The Defendant: Well, in between tying, I guess, you know.

The Court: All right. After you tied them up what occurred?

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Montaldo, Charles. "Court Transcript of BTK's Confession." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Montaldo, Charles. (2020, August 26). Court Transcript of BTK's Confession. Retrieved from Montaldo, Charles. "Court Transcript of BTK's Confession." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 20, 2022).